Archive for ‘random’

September 19, 2011

How I Love Weekends.

These days I live for the weekend.  Monday through Friday is great and all, but the weekends are when I get to spend more time with my hubby and I get to spend some quality time at the house.  Cleaning is high on the list, but it doesn’t always happen.  Sporatic cleaning is my new tactic, that way cleaning doesn’t end up taking over a whole day where my hair gets pulled on the top of my head and I’m covered in dirt from head to toe at the end of five hours.  (Although, sometimes it’s necessary).  This weekend did not involve much cleaning, but it was a busy one!

The back door has needed some love for awhile.  It was off-white when we moved in, peeling paint on the outside, and it didn’t seal at all.  Levi put some weather stripping on it a few months ago, which helped in a huge way during our heat wave.  The dirty look of the door has been driving me crazy.  So this weekend, it got a face-lift!

It’s so happy now.  I just love it. 

The trim still needs some work, but that’s for another weekend.

Another new addition to the backyard is the shed that my husband, so graciously, put together.  We debated for awhile on building our own or buying a pre-fabricated shed.  After pricing everything, we decided to buy one and put it together.  One million pieces later . . . the shed is finally finished and organized!  Levi put everything in the shed yesterday.  The yard looks so much better (minus the dirt that is now our grass).  That man is a blessing.

Hagen is still growing, of course.  We think she’s around 90 lbs now.  It hurts when she steps on your feet.  But she’s a huge ball of love.

Weekends also bring time for gardening.  I’m starting out small this fall … and in containers. 

Weekend before last I planted herbs :: basil, cilantro, sage, parsley, and lavender.  Currently this pot is no longer stacked on blocks on the deck, because Hager beans still found a way to get to the plants.  We are down one parsley now.  I got two chains and hung the container from two existing hooks outside our office window.  The herbs like it there so far.  And it’s out of Hagen’s reach .. for now.

The front beds have two tomato plants, four red cabbage plants, and four cauliflower plants. I also planted lettuce, because I love it.  Bibb, Romaine, Arugula & Swiss Chard.  It sits on our stop sign table on the front porch.  The swiss chard has it’s own pot, because it’s large and in charge. The lettuce really took off this week with our spurts of rain. 

Last night we had our first salad.  It was delicious.

Some sort of baking or cooking frenzy normally happens during the weekend as well.  This weekend, the baking was for a coworker-turned-friend ..  Happy Birthday Matt!  He likes cookies.  He likes icing.  Hopefully the cookie cake will suffice! 

With that, I will leave you with my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe … for one of your upcoming weekends.
 

August 16, 2011

Lately

Most of my life lately has been consumed here :

This is my cube.  My tax accounting cube.  I have recently converted from sitting on that bright red ball to standing.  I know, I know … why would one do this?  Because this one’s back/neck/general posture has gone to pot since taking on the profession that is accounting.  Although my back hurts some days, I can deal with it.  The soreness will go away.  I feel like a curving spine may take a little more work to undo.

My mom works all day on her feet as a hairdresser.  So surely I can do the same.  I’ll just pretend like I’m giving my laptop a new do.  If worse comes to worst, my handy red ball is within close reach.

I need some serious decorating to happen in my workspace in the upcoming holiday months.  Too. much. gray.

On the subject of work, the peeps up in the FW EY office are pretty awesome.  Awesome enough to the point of making me want to organize a Thanksgiving dinner so we can all come as indians and pilgrims.  Also awesome enough to make me want to bake for every birthday in the office.  Check out these Oreo Stuffed Brownies.  Wicked.  These are next on the lineup and I’m super-excited about it. 

In other news, Phoebe loves the sink.

So much that I have to fight for room to brush my teeth in the morning.  She loves to drink out of the faucet.  Hagen loves to drink out of the toilet.  This may be proof that cats are smarter than dogs.  Or that Phoebe is smarter than Hagen.  Although Phoebe has been known to smack Hagen on the nose for no apparent reason, other than Hagen’s up in her space.  All Hagen wants is to play!

Once the weather gets cooler, we have some outdoor projects on the horizon.  One of these is to add a retaining wall of sorts to the front yard.  Levi’s not crazy about the slanted mowing situation that would have to occur if the yard stays as is.  Plus, it will dress up the front.  We keep debating on the style, but we drove by this house the other day and both loved the look of this.  Definitely planting more yuccas.

Lastly, I’m loving my new wallet.  The trifold that I’ve carried since graduation is not cutting it lately.  Apparently I’m a receipt hoarder and I find the need to keep bits of paper in my wallet until the writing is completely worn off.  I’m convinced I inherited this from my mother.  Regardless, I’m excited about this new addition to my purse.

I hope to share a recipe and another crafty project this week!  For now, Happy Tuesday to all.

July 26, 2011

24 Years & Counting

Seeing as I have been slacking in the picture department, especially in sharing some eye candy of our new decor/remodel, I have a lot to catch up on.  Normally, I like to keep things in order .. chronologically speaking ..  but sometimes you just have to make an exception.  Like, for birthdays.  Don’t worry, you’ll get to hear all about the pounding our parents threw for us and the plant situation that is now outside of our bedroom door.  For now, however – my birthday …

Sunday morning we made pancakes.  Lately, we have been making pancakes out of our copy Joy of Cooking …which is a bit worn in, and I like it that way. This time, we opted for the German Panackes, which turned into one big pancake that we shared.

It gets all bubbly and rises before it flattens to it’s beautiful shape.  The butter helps our case too.

Fold it over and slide it out of the pan.

Then top it with some powdered sugar & warm blueberries.  Yummers.

After breakfast/lunch, my boy helped me finish a project we started the day before — to. be. shown. at. a. later. time.  Let me just tell you though, it’s one of my new favorite things about the house.  That night we went to Buttons, for some soul food & jazz.  We basically had the entire restaurant to ourselves, because it was a Sunday … which I was completely ok with.

We laughed a lot.

We danced.

We ate a lot.

Chicken & Waffles are Buttons’ specialty.

Then it was cake time.  Blackberry Wine Cake.  Yes, my mother is amazing.

We all marveled at Brandy’s dancing skills as she danced a piece of cake up to the one man band as he played “Brick House.”  The pics couldn’t capture her talent.  Let me just tell you, that girl’s got some moves y’all.

Then they showered me with gifts.  My friends and family are way to generous … really, having them in my life is enough.

July 6, 2011

Ryan :: Growing

Hold the phone.  I have something that is growing for me.  Actually growing.  Look at these cuties!!!  Contrary to what you might think, with my mother’s outrageous gardening abilities, thus far in my life I have killed more plants than I have kept alive.  I am bound and determined to reverse this streak …. and this is the first step.

 This little seedlings are much more lively and beautiful in person.  It seems I only remember to snap photos at night lately, producing less than adequate pictures … but hey, it’s something.  These seeds were given to me by a family friend from her own hyacinth vine.  Hopefully in a few more weeks we will have something that looks a bit more like this.

We’ve had some help clearing the front beds and they now smell of wonderful pine mulsch.  We now have two knockout roses, two variegated privets, a plumbago, a hibiscus, some echinacea, and a hydrangea that is fighting for her life in this heat.  I know, July is not prime planting season — but seriously, that bed needed some color.  Everything besides the hydrangea is loving our weather.  Hopefully this continues….

I also have to share Hagen’s new necklace.  Yeah, it’s a vintage belt.  How great is that? Check out this super cute etsy shop for your doggy needs.

I’m kind of obsessed.

One of my closest friends is getting married on Friday!!!!  So excited to report back about their. amazing. day.

June 29, 2011

The Woodlands :: Hagen Learns to Swim

This week has been a bit busy thus far, hence the prolonged post about our trip down to H-town. Logan’s house was awesome and The Woodlands are amazing. Seriously, you can’t see any of the stores from the street. All you see is a thick band of trees and a small pretty sign indicating what stores lies behind the forest. I loved it. The doggies traveled so well together. They both slept alot and enjoyed looking out the window as well.

On Saturday, they took us to Old Town Spring … just a few miles south on 45. It’s a collection of older-homes-turned-cute-stores and let me just say, if you’re in the area you should definitely swing by for a look-see. There’s something for everyone. The boys camped out in a bar disguised as a train caboose, while us girls perused the adorable shops.

First store we went into had cupcakes for its guests. As I was snapping a picture, one of the workers told me “They’re real .. you can eat one.” Laughing, I knew he wouldn’t understand my need to take a picture of the cute thing before eating it. Hillary and I shared a chocolate cake.

Next was one of my favorite stores … because it was an antique shop.  Fireking and pyrex galore.  I scored a great deal on a few colorful doilies that are going to soon join with some other beauties I’ve collected for a kitchen and pantry curtain

Next stop … a candle that smelt heavenly and burns for 1,000 hours.  I *almost* talked myself into it.  They’re candles were pretty impressive.  The blueberry muffin was incredibly realistic.  However, I did get some great wreath ideas and let myself gawk over some amazing Texas pottery.  Both way too pricy for my taste, but so fun to look at.

OTS also has some adorable kiddy things.  I loved this tutu.

There was also this store.  Bet you can’t guess what’s inside.

 

Hagen scored an elk bone.

These treats took it just a little too far.  Dog treats shouldn’t look like human food. 

Our last stop (before grabbing some burgers), was this cute little craft market.  It felt like we stepped into Etsy.  There were booths inside .. each housing the work of a different local artist.  These little beanies were some of my favorites.

We Hillary & I lounged at the pool for the rest of the day.  The guys swam with the dogs.  Hagen “learned” to swim.  Started off with Romo’s lifejacket and then went solo with her big dane paws.  She’s not a huge fan of the water.

That night we spent some time at Market Street and killing time before seeing Bridesmaids.  Hubble & Hudson was the absolute perfect distraction for me.  I want them to come to Fort Worth.  Just look at these. *Love*

Sunday we took a quick jaunt down to Galveston to visit my aunt & uncle.  After having a late lunch on the Seawall, we started the trek back home.  Such a great weekend and totally worth the tired eyes on Monday.

June 24, 2011

Ryan :: Hagen’s Bed

This pretty girl has been averaging a 5 lb weight gain every week. It’s very impressive. This obviously means she’s eating more, pooping more (well it’s true), and she’s taking up more room on the bed. Yes, when she was a puppy I couldn’t handle the whimpering when we were in bed and she had to sleep on the floor alone. Now, however … I take a different stance. We would need at least a California King (we have a Queen) to handle all three of us. More importantly, I would rather snuggle with my man anyday. All of this explains my urgency in making a bed for lovely Hagen beans.

The striped fabric came from one of my mom’s friends who was cleaning up leftover materials. The H was cut from a piece of a pillowcase that was included in a bag of fabric scraps I bought at an estate sale for $2. The stuffing is memory foam that was at one time on one of our beds, but most currently took residence in the cow trailer at my parent’s land. Don’t ask me why. After shaking the dirt off, it now serves a purpose as Hagen’s favorite place to sprawl out.

Today we head down to The Woodlands to visit a friend from high school, Logan, and his fiance, Hillary! We finally get to see his house! I’ve been excited about it for awhile. If we’re lucky we will make it to Galveston and soak up some sun while we’re down South. Did I mention we’ll have two dogs with us? This is them resting last night after wearing each other out.

That’s the best part … Hagen will have her buddy Romo (Logan’s pitbull boxer … I am dog-breed challenged) as a companion on the drive. Longest trip yet for our girl, so I’ll report back on the weekend’s happenings.

I have to share how great friends are. Steve not only made the amazzzzzzing turquoise cabinet for us, but he ALSO made a gorgeous towel rack in the same great color and even thought to pick up this little chair off the side of the road for me! He knows me pretty really well.. Can’t wait to refinish it!

June 15, 2011

My Week :: in Pictures

Last weekend my Mom and I took a roadtrip to Round Rock for Jenny’s wedding shower!!! Beautiful Jenny is getting married in less than a month. It was so great to see her and other college friends. Jen was my MOH and was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see her marry her man .. and I can’t wait to stand up there with her to witness it all!!

Before the shower, we visited a family friend with the most beautifully landscaped yard I have seen in a long time .. lovely patches of color in neatly arranged beds, with pots galore.  I was most mesmerized her stairs : neatly accented by a sweet little vine. This visit further emphasized my need to spend some quality time in the weed-ridden extravaganza that is our front and back flower beds.  No fear Less fear, because I have a secret weapon.. My mom and her green-thumbed friends.

Our new intern (for next spring) baked all of us tax geeks sugar cookies from scratch and took the time to decorate them with icing and sprinkles.  I think she’s a keeper.

Mexican food has always been an obsession of mine.  However, lately this obsession has risen to a new level.  I can’t get enough of it.  I stumbled across this lovely little recipe for Mexican lasagna and had to give it a whirl.  Super simple and super delicious.  I followed it loosely.  Levi grabbed some fresh tortillas from Central Market and we layered them with pureed pintos, cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes, onions, and yellow bell peppers.  Totally hit the spot.  The boy was pretty happy with it too.

Our new Crate & Barrel shower curtain came in the mail; which I was excited about.  Levi acted excited.

Levi picked up the kegerator (aka new big black thing in our dining room) and got a keg of shiner the next day.  There are plans to cover this monstrosity with some kind of cabinet or facing, but it’s the focal of our dining for now.  Levi’s new pride & joy.

Last, but not least .. Hagen put her big dog pants on and learned to jump off the bed. She’s still scared of jumping, but I think she’s getting more comfortable every time. It’s quite a drop, even with her long legs.  I love my baby dog.  Yes, I’ll still call her that when she’s 150+ lbs.

June 6, 2011

Ryan :: Hagen’s Home

The puppy’s got some new digs. 

A huge thanks to Stevo, an old friend, for taking time away from his new wife to make a home for Hagen.  It stands 6 ft. tall, is 4 ft. wide and 6 ft. deep. The house still needs some work, including license plate shingles ($2 garage sale find), a great dane mud flap for a door and repurposed siding made from our save-the-date & wedding signs.  Of course, there will be a small wreath to welcome her canine guests as well. 

In other house news, we have a door on the bathroom now.  The tape,  bedding & plumbing is done … texturing is going up today.  Plus, we scored a marble counter top for the bath at an estate sale this weekend .. along with a pink iridescent fire king bowl that I am obsessed with!  Some organizing was done over the weekend, but there’s lots more to do! 

Happy Monday to you and yours.  Hopefully yours didn’t start off with a workout session gone wrong.  I started my day with a 6 am hit-to-the-eye while doing arnold presses.  I don’t know whether to blame my sleepiness or lack of coordination. Luckily, it’s not swollen … I just have a nice little shiner to share with the world.  As my husband said, “Having a blackeye makes you just that much more hard core!” To top this, we were scheduled to have our bride & groom shots with Bella Pop this evening at Ryan .. but because Brandy is such a doll, we’ve rescheduled for next week when I have my skin tone back. Another reason to love her. So when arnold pressing, remember — you don’t have to be rambo out there .. but if you do, try to keep a good distance between your face and the metal.

 

May 25, 2011

Distractions :: Anthro Sale & Daily Deals

So, for those of you who jumped on the Groupon and Living Social bandwagons … beware, I’m about to open a can of worms. Maybe you already have. Over the past few weeks, I have stumbled upon some new sites that have daily deals ranging all across the board. Where Groupon & Living Social focus more on restaurant and lifestyle savings, these focus more on clothing and home accessories. Can of worms, opened.

These amazing sites I speak of are as follows :

Gilt Groupe

One Kings Lane

The Foundary 

Rue La La

Each site has a limit to the number of items that are available within each sale category. The Foundary notifies you of the items currently being purchased while you’re on the site … which definitely creates some buying pressure. Luckily thus far I’ve just been browsing, but I did buy a little beauty for our living room. Unfortunately, the sale is off and I didn’t save a picture of our newly ordered ottoman … but trust me, it’s super chic and a bit manly to balance out the vintage girly vibe we seem to be slowly drifting into. Plus it’s cheaper than most I’ve found on Craigslist!

To further add to this apparent online “window shopping” obsession I have, Anthro is having a big sale. These are some of the beauties that caught my eye … Nothing bought for me (though the skirt is oh so tempting), just making note of these types of pieces for the next resale or thrift shop I encounter! So fun to look.

Happy hump day! We’re getting shelves in the pantry today! Which would look even more amazing if they were dressed by a stack of turquoise bowls …

May 23, 2011

Ryan :: Of Craiglist & Pintos

The house is still coming right along .. I feel more sane every day. We are almost completely out of the garage apartment (YAY for ditching the window units!); We have to be out by this weekend, so that’s definitely at the top of the priority list. Hubs has been amazing throughout the entire process .. through our long discussions about paint color (where I basically poured over paint chips and he “listened” while reading something) and his determination to move everything in our first weekend. Although the latter didn’t quite happen, it was due to my continual requests of his help at the new house .. including painting, which I have quickly learned is high on his “my absolute least favorite things to do, but I’ll do it for my wife” list.

In light of the fact that we are moving from a one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom house with a full size living a dining … garage sales and craigslist have been taking up a surprisingly large amount of my time in the last month or so. We have found some amazing things — it just takes some bargaining and being in the right place at the right time. I have been refinishing most of the pieces that we found, but this beauty below is not like the others. It didn’t need any work.. It’s already gorgeous. We drove to Dallas last week to pick up this beauty. The top is made of onyx which, for those of you like me who didn’t know the difference, is similar to marble in that it is just as heavy and strong, but it’s more translucent. I fell in love with this table and even more when I heard the lady’s story about buying it from her elderly Italian neighbor years ago who brought it over from Italy. I can’t imagine wanting to sell this, even if you’re redecorating … I mean you could make this table work anywhere .. but I’m not complaining. Now, it will grace our living room for years to come!

I can’t wait to share some of the refinishing projects I’ve been working on for our office and bedroom. Pictures to come soon (we’re still working on getting the internet wired at the house). For now, I’ll leave you with this interesting sight. You have to know my husband to understand some of the things he gets excited about — but to give you a little background of this picture : Rice and beans are a staple in our home. Not only do they taste good, but they have the right ratio of protein to carbs, they keep us satisfied, and they’re cheap!

When we were first married, we made our first trip to Sams together. Rice and beans were on the list … but I had no idea what we were in for. Of course, Levi wanted to buy the biggest bags they had (50 lbs) because they wouldn’t go bad and we would eat them all at some point. Both valid arguments, but trumped by the fact that storing those bags would mean they would sit in the middle of what we liked to call the “foyer” at the apartment (which also served as home to the washer/dryer and litter box .. all things that I would have most definitely wanted to greet guests). So, I went with the “We can get that when we have a house to store it in” line… Well guess who has been talking about getting the 50 lb bags ever since we signed the papers – most definitely my boy.

This past weekend we made our first Sams trip for the house, which included this bag of pintos. We just finished off the 25 lb bag we bought at the beginning of the year, so we’re thinking this might last us into next summer! Ha! Didn’t I tell you? We eat alot of rice and beans…

Now if we could just remember to bring the tupperware over to the house, we could start taking our lunches again. SO tired of eating out.. It’s sabotaging the workout plan.